Adventureland * *

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Director: Greg Mottola.
Screenplay: Greg Mottola.
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Martin Starr, Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Ryan Reynolds, Margarita Levieva, Matt Bush, Jack Gilpin, Wendie Malick, Josh Pais, Mary Birdsong.

Jesse Eisenberg released two films in the same year with ‘land’ in the title. Both featured theme park’s and both also featured him trying to lose his virginity. “Zombieland” was one and “Adventureland” the other. Unfortunately for this though, I’d personally choose flesh-eating Zombies to face-sucking teenagers any day.

When James (Eisenberg) is forced to take a summer job in a ramshackle Pittsburgh theme park, he fears the worst. But the friendships he makes, the lessons he will come to learn, and especially a bumpy romance with remote fellow worker Emily (Kristen Stewart) will ultimately end up becoming memories for life.

A teenage romantic comedy with emphasis on the teenage romantics and less on the comedy. It had a few laugh out loud moments though, with some well written, humourous supporting characters. Where the laughs come from is the similiar dick joke humour from Greg Mottola’s previous film “Superbad“, but this is a more serious rite of passage tale than his earlier film. Nice use of ‘Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground’ on the soundtrack and fine performances throughout, particularly Bill Hader as the eccentric theme park manager. However, anything that this had going for it was spoiled by the teenage love story at it’s core. It was a bit dull and seemed as though it had teenagers in mind as it’s target audience.

The teens wear their angst on their sleeves and if you find yourself still stuck in this difficult time of your life then you’ll find plenty to identify with… Everyone else should avoid.

Mark Walker

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